Picture This–Sicily, 1926

Sophia Petrillo was a hell of a story teller. She set the scene of her memories so well we could almost see it(and sometimes we did).

So I finished the first rough draft of my WiP. Finally. Now it’s time to do some digging. I have to figure out every nuance of the characters, each scene, to find out the purpose of every thing and everyone.

Including the setting. In my head, where I set the story was basically New York. Probably just because I’ve always wanted to go there, and it seems the easiest place to set a story. But when I got to thinking about it, I realized NY was just a cop out, and way too big for my purposes. And I HAD to set the story somewhere solid, even if I don’t ever mention the name of the city or town specifically. I need to know.

So I had to think of a place that was a big city, just one that wasn’t quite as big and scary as NYC, but still a little intimidating. And then I had to find a nice little suburb of this city in which to base my characters.

And that’s what I did yesterday. Instead of reading and going over the story to ask questions of what details I missed, what things need to be included, etc, I decided to find out more about the characters, starting with the setting.

I chose Chicago to be my City, and after a slightly short search on the internet for some names of suburbs and towns, I narrowed my search down to a few places, and then asked some folks who ACTUALLY LIVE NEAR, OR IN Chicago for their feedback.

I chose Oak Park as my suburb. I was told that it is trendy and on the rise. I looked at pictures and the town website and found it perfect for my needs.

I just don’t have any actual knowledge of this town, so I am reliant upon the eyes and memories of others. But as this book is a work of fiction, and I don’t refer to the city or the town by name, it’ll be ok to fudge my “facts.” I’m just trying to give the aura of the place, not specifics.

Really, I want this story to be able to be seen as if it can be told ANYWHERE. I want this to be able to be ANYONE’S story.

So the references will be vague, but solid in my head so that I can tell the story. But I can’t be vague when it comes to describing homes and the general surroundings…

I’m a dialogue girl. Setting and exposition ain’t my thing.

But apparently it is.


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